Wholesome Family Entertainment in the 50’s and 60’s verses today… and oh boy how it has changed!
Do you remember…
The Lone Ranger Series?
“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty, ‘Hi Yo Silver!…It’s THE LONE RANGER. With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!”
These words were used to announce the arrival of America’s most best-loved character, the immortal The Lone Ranger and his trusted sidekick, Tonto. No other fictional creation has ever had the magic and mystique of Fran Striker’s creation… nor the staying power. The Lone Ranger is as beloved today as he was when he rode into hearts years ago.
To understand the whole Lone Ranger experience, you have to understand that by the time the Lone Ranger was twenty years old in 1953, he was being broadcast three times each week on 249 radio stations, he achieved the highest rating of any Western program ever, and he had a weekly listening audience of twelve million people. At that same twentieth anniversary, he was being broadcast on ninety television stations and was the highest rated western on TV, being seen by five million viewers. He also appeared in 177 daily papers, 119 Sunday papers and was being read by 71 million people in comic strip fashion. This is in addition to the many novels and series books that had also been written by this time. He was perhaps the first character that was truly a multi-media entity, having a very broad spectrum of appreciation, not to mention the toys and clothing that were being sold.
How about these for values that were written by the series creator:
The Lone Ranger’s Creed
By Fran Striker
1. I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
2. That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
3. That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
4. In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
5. That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
6. That “this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people,” shall live always.
7. That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
8. That sooner or later… somewhere… somehow… we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
9. That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever.
10. I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.
|Note about the author:
Fran Striker started as a freelance writer, creating and writing his own series and selling them to stations across the United States. He began a long association with station owner George W. Trendle and radio station WXYZ in Detroit, which was trying to make a name for itself as a producer of radio drama, creating and writing the early series Thrills of the Secret Service, Dr. Fang and Warner Lester, Manhunter (which introduced Mike Axford, later a supporting character on The Green Hornet).Late in 1932, Striker began working on The Lone Ranger; his earliest scripts were largely reworked from his earlier series, Covered Wagon Days. A letter from Trendle, dated Monday, January 30, 1933, clearly gives Striker credit for creating the character. However, by 1934, Striker was pressured by Trendle to sign over his rights to the Lone Ranger, and Trendle claimed credit as the creator. This sparked a long-term controversy over the creation of The Lone Ranger, extending as far as a 1960 television appearance by Striker on To Tell the Truth, which mentioned his role in the character’s creation.
My thanks goes out to John today, for forwarding this Long Ranger Creed to me.
I think if there is any one thing that is missing today in our society and our culture; it is something that is today considered “Old Fashion and Passé,” and that is in the lack of Christian values, as once was portrayed in our media.
It used to be there was always a clear line that was being drawn between what was right and wrong, and good and evil; but that is no longer the case! There was a time when there was no clouding of these issues, as it is today.
I know as an example, some years ago (in the 70’s) I used to work at the ABC studios, on Prospect Ave., in Hollywood, where I worked as a Page in Guest Relations. It was our job to provide security on the various sets, and provide audience control and such; and one of my jobs was to answer the phone in the control booth; and I actually sat next to a person whose job it was to screen and sensor the content on the various shows that were being produced.
Well I can tell you this, things that are allowed today would never have passed muster back in those days… and that includes in both what was allowed in language and also in content.
Today our children are being raised on a much different value system, and actually what is being taught in our public schools and also in our culture, in this so called progressive ideology and value system, is that there is no foundational bases for good and evil, or for right and wrong… that it is all relative; and so the effort is clearly made today to glorify evil; and also to cloud the lines between what is considered right and wrong, and good and evil.
Where once kids grew up identifying with the heroes in the various series they watched, as exemplified in the “Long Ranger” series; today it is not uncommon to have them siding with the bad guy, or the one who is in opposition to guys in the white hats; and also quite often today the guys in the white hats are themselves portrayed as the crooks.
There was a book I remember reading in college that was written by Marshall McLuhan, entitles The Media is the Message; and the point of the book was to point out the power that the media has in our culture to determine and to set our value system and our morals.
Once it was the purview of the Church, to be the gatekeepers of society; but today that job has been turned over to the talking heads on the evening news, and our Hollywood stars; and it is very definitely the media, that over time, have been the ones who have set the standards and morals for our society, as to what is good and evil, and what is right and wrong.
You can see this all over today in our Sitcoms that are so popular today, and also in the drama and action features that we have.
No more do we have the traditional Judaic/Christian values being exemplified, in having a normal family being portrayed, where there is a mother and father, who are portrayed in any traditional fashion, as say you once could see in programs like “Ozzie and Harriet,” The Donna Reed Show,” or “Father Knows Best;” but rather today if there is a father in the picture his character is most often portrayed as a bumbling fool, and it is the kids who run the house; and certainly in most cases today the father figure is not portrayed in a good and wise light.
Also, you will find today that many of the characters, in both the sitcoms and action/adventure dramas, are often being portrayed today as being homosexuals, and you actually see stories being written today, portraying everyday life situations, where this lifestyle is made to appear as natural and normal; and the way they do this is to inject humor, and to get you to laugh at the situations that are being portrayed; that in years past would have been considered taboo, and would never have been allowed; but today it’s no big thing.
Also, you will note that quite often if a person is portrayed as a “Christian” today, most often he or she will be the shady character, the phony, or the raving lunatic, who is a mass murderer, or worse.
Satan has well used the media to his advantage; and I would even say if we can attribute our present condition today, in our society, and the sad and immoral state of so many of our governing officials and leadership in both the public and the private sectors, who have been taking us on this downward spiral, and this moral and ethically landslide for years now, I would have to say that the major influence and cause of today’s lack of morals and the absence of any moral standards and compass for our society… is in fact the media!
My position is that if we, who are Christians, are to take back our culture, then we are also going to have to take back the media; and we are going to have to start producing programs, movies, music, and all forms of entertainment that are both well done and entertaining; that are every bit as real and professional, and even more so, than what we see coming out of Hollywood today.
I mean come on folks, we do have the Holy Spirit—who is by the way very creative—on our side; and so instead of the media being used in a negative fashion to undermine our culture and society in a negative way; why not use it to turn our culture around and aim it back in the right direction… back towards God?
Anyhow, that’s my two cents for today… how do you feel?